DVA More Abundant LifeI came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. —John 10:10Sometimes your faith may ebb to a low tide; you may be like an Israelite that complains to the Lord. What should you do at that point? Or do you wait for God’s punishment to awake you?
When you do holy work in church, do you consider whether you work for the praise of man or blessings from God?
What does it mean to have an abundant life—to have a good job, a lot of wealth, or an attractive spouse? Why do so many people pursue an abundant material life but ignore their spirit, their soul?
Abundance of life is the new life our Lord Jesus desires to give us. This life is not our old life; rather, it is a vigorous spiritual life that has overcome the decadent worldly life of our past. If your life is not as fulfilled as you wish it to be, you should make the effort to look into and seek this abundant life of which Jesus promised.
I have observed flocks of sheep before—some are fat, some are strong, and some are vigorous and full of vitality. But indeed there are always those sheep that are lean and dispirited—ill looking. I have also observed orchards; some trees bear abundant and tasty fruits, while others bear no fruit at all. These fruitless trees remind us that these trees have occupied the land in vain. What do these observations teach us? Sheep and fruit trees both have some sense of vitality, but not all of them have abundant life.
Some Christians live a devoted and God-centered life. In prayer or in the smallest of matters they first consider God’s will; these believers are full of gratitude, peace, and joy in Christ Jesus. Then there are those Christians whose lives are self-centered. These members pray or do holy work to satisfy their own desires; they often complain about their plight—their hearts are without peace. Such a great disparity exists between the lives of these two types of Christians. Why? Because the life some of them receive is abundant; the life others receive is insufficient.
Jezebel wanted to kill Elijah. Elijah fled to Beersheba, where he fell down under a broom tree and prayed for death. Elijah was exhausted, so he fell asleep. Then an angel of the Lord came twice to wake him up to eat, telling him, "Arise and eat, else the journey will be too great for you." Elijah got up and ate, and with the strength he gained from the food, he ran forty days and forty nights until he reached the mountain of the Lord (1 Kgs 19:1–8).
Like Elijah, there are times when our faith is weak. The journey each of us has to undergo, both in spiritual cultivation and in ministry, is long and often disheartening. But, like Elijah, we must learn to eat and drink to the full—receiving God’s word and be filled with the Holy Spirit—so that our inner lives may become vitalized. An abundant life is one that can always finish the race our Lord sets before us—to reach the mountain of the Lord. Let us eat and drink deeply!